watching her

all i remember of her husband’s first inaugural is the commentators criticizing her choice of hat and a controversial plaid.

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that was 23 years ago and yet it sticks with me.

there’s been some talk about girls this election cycle.
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which is, by no means a reason to vote for someone, but nonetheless worth noting.

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particularly with this woman.

L.A., october 2014

L.A., october 2014

i’ve written about her before.

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i’ve written about how i didn’t want to write about her.

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how dangerous it feels to write about her.

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i’ve written about how i write about jackie onassis specifically as a way of writing around her.

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because, in the 90s, i was watching her, and watching her was brutal.

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she’s never been the woman women wanted and she’s known this for the last 25 years.

think about that: she knows.

and lo, she is still here.

she is, in fact, triumphant- sort of…

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at least for the night.

i’ve written before about how, when i was a girl, i always pretended to be a first lady- never president. because to be president was beyond my imagining capabilities.

it was a failure of imagination and history.

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i’ve also written that i was interested in jackie onassis because reading about her life was an appropriately lady-like way of reading about power. because her being in history somehow made my life seem to matter more.

fyi, last night, jacqueline kennedy onassis received one of the most substantive shout-outs that i have ever seen her receive. it came courtesy of hillary rodham clinton.

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that it came on what would have been jackie onassis’s 88th birthday was doubly sweet.

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for nearly 25 years now, we have been watching her.

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not just her husband but her.

for 25 years, she’s been the woman we’ve got.

10 may 1993

10 may 1993

maybe you hate her.

maybe you don’t trust her.

maybe you won’t vote for her.

maybe you wish it were someone else, anyone else but her.

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but she is the one we’ve got.

she is the one who has made it.

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there’s a line in the new york times’ piece of this morning that captures the intersecting excitement and dread that this inspires, and also the awe-someness.

she is like an astronaut.

she is like man landing on the moon- a place, incidentally, no woman has ever been.

and my god, no matter what you make of her, admit it: that takes guts.

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